Seasonal eating helps you keep fresh produce in your diet year-round. Check out my healthy winter recipes to eat fresh and clean this year. I’ve got you covered with winter breakfast ideas, easy sides and tasty winter dinners that use seasonal ingredients to keep costs down and flavor at an all-time high.

healthy winter recipes including a loaded baked sweet potato, vegan waffles, and roasted cabbage.

Winter is definitely my food rut. Between all the specialty meals of the holidays, crazy evenings with football and volleyball practices and games and our other family activities, I have a hard time wanting to get creative in the kitchen.

These healthy winter recipes keep me from falling into convenience food and help me know I’m keeping my family fueled the best way possible throughout the winter months.

Table of Contents
  1. Breakfast Ideas
  2. Simple Sides
  3. Easy Dinners
  4. Winter Desserts
  5. Healthy Winter Recipes FAQs
  6. Seasonal Produce
  7. Eat Fresh this Year

Breakfast Ideas

When you wake up to a chill in the air, the last thing you want to do is toss frozen fruit into a blender. Whipping up an icy cold smoothie does not get me ready for an icy cold day! Instead, I turn to these filling, plant-powered winter breakfast ideas to warm me up and give me energy. From warm smoothies to nourishing baked oatmeal, let’s make our breakfasts count.

steel cut oats recipe
Warm Steel Cut Oats
4.7 from 6 votes
Spice up your breakfast routine with this yummy steel cut oats recipe. It's got sweetness + protein to help you stay full and focused throughout the day.
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hot chocolate smoothie recipe
Hot Chocolate Smoothie
5 from 5 votes
This dessert-like smoothie is perfect for a cool day or healthy treat. It's packed with chocolaty flavor as well as ingredients like spinach and hazelnuts.
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fresh stack of vegan pumpkin pancakes covered in syrup
Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes
4.9 from 7 votes
Looking for a fun, fall-inspired breakfast dish that your friends and family will love? These vegan pumpkin pancakes are sure to fit the bill! Not only are these whole grain pancakes absolutely scrumptious, but the pumpkin adds a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.
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2 glasses of butternut squash smoothie with cinnamon sticks on top next to half a pear.
Warm Butternut Squash Smoothie
5 from 7 votes
Sip on a warm smoothie when the weather turns chilly. This one features spinach, butternut squash, pear, a hint of spice, and creamy cashew milk.
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Vegan Waffles
5 from 1 vote
Get ready for weekend brunch the right way with my vegan waffles. Fluffy, delicious, comforting and dairy and egg-free. You'll be shocked at how wonderful these are and how much you don't miss the dairy.
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baked oatmeal recipe
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
5 from 8 votes
Enjoy as an easy weekend breakfast or bake at the beginning of the week for a prepped ahead week of nutritious breakfasts. This is an easily loved recipe that tastes much more gourmet than the time it takes to bake!
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Simple Sides

Focusing on simpler sides makes winter meals easier. I still want to include as many veggies as I can, yet they have to be easy for me to make when it’s dark outside by 6 pm. Here are the healthy winter sides my family will actually eat and enjoy throughout the winter.

ceramic dish of roasted butternut squash topped with fresh herbs.
Roasted Butternut Squash
5 from 1 vote
Enjoy this gorgeously simple, side dish by cubing and roasting butternut squash in a few easy steps. You can use this recipe to enjoy softened or crispy squash, your choice! This is a great side dish for the cooler months and works well for the holidays, too.
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roasted cabbage wedges
Roasted Cabbage Wedges
5 from 4 votes
I grew up on roasted cabbage so it's a staple in my St. Patrick's Day celebrations with my family. Enjoy this simple yet comforting recipe and start a plant based tradition with your family, too!
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Crunchy Carrot Salad
4.2 from 162 votes
This is my plant-powered take on a classic recipe. It is lighter, brighter, and not weighed down by mayo. Serve as-is for a wonderful side dish or double and enjoy as the main event.
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vegan avocado fries on a white plate with a container of chipotle ranch dipping sauce.
Avocado Fries
5 from 2 votes
Snacking made delicious with these crispy avocado fries. These are a super fun side dish, snack or appetizer that will surely liven up your day.
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Brussels sprouts with glazed walnuts are the perfect side dish
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
5 from 2 votes
Roasted Brussels sprouts are my favorite vegetable of all time. It started as a kid when I would pretend they were Barbie doll sized cabbages and play with them. Over the years, I have come to prefer my sprouts blackened to perfection and tossed with walnuts and maple syrup.
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baked potato wedges
Baked Potato Wedges
5 from 5 votes
Whether you need a great side dish or a fun appetizer, these baked potato wedges are delightful. They come out perfectly crispy with just the right amount of seasoning.
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Easy Dinners

Now for the main event. Winter is the perfect time to make healthy winter recipes for dinner then heat up the leftovers for lunch the next day. Prep once, eat twice! These easy winter dinners are filling and plant powered without skimping on the hearty produce that is ripe during colder months.

a beautifully plated loaded sweet potato
Loaded Sweet Potato with Kale Slaw
4.9 from 14 votes
Enjoy this Loaded Sweet Potato recipe that is filling and helps balance your blood sugar. It's also packed with vitamin A, B vitamins, potassium and fiber. They provide the perfect base for this delicious kale slaw, which is teeming with nutrients that help stimulate digestion and absorption.
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overhead shot of pumpkin soup topped with roasted pepitas
Ultimate Roasted Vegan Pumpkin Soup
5 from 11 votes
One thing I really love is a good vegan pumpkin soup. It’s healthy, filling, comforting, and warms you up when the weather is chilly. Check out the recipe notes for all the variations.
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beautifully prepared pear salad with pomegranates
Pear Salad with Pomegranates
5 from 8 votes
Bring the wow factor to your next dinner with this lovely, crisp pear salad. From the fresh made dressing to the fall ingredients, this salad is sure to delight a variety of palates. 
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5 Tacos de papa or crispy potato tacos on an oval, gray plate.
Tacos de Papa (Crispy Potato Tacos)
5 from 8 votes
Tacos de Papa is a Mexican street food classic that you’ll not want to miss making at home. What could be better than well-seasoned mashed potatoes folded into a corn tortilla and lightly fried until crispy?
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DIY veggie bowl
Coconut Sriracha Veggie Bowl
5 from 10 votes
This veggie bowl recipe is simple, delicious, and has the perfect sauce. Great for those left over veggies in the fridge that need to be used.
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Winter Desserts

Winter is a great time to look for sweet treats that don’t go crazy with the sugar and the frosting and the heaviness. I’ve got a few lighter dessert-style recipes that totally fit in with the ingredients of the season, yet aren’t the heavier treats you’ll find around those holiday party tables.

gingerbread spice smoothie
Gingerbread Spice Smoothie
4.8 from 5 votes
A delicious holiday drink loaded with classic gingerbread recipe flavors, this gingerbread spice smoothie will put you in a jolly mood at first sip.
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peanut butter fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge- 4 Ingredient Dessert!
5 from 3 votes
You'll definitely wanna include this vegan peanut butter fudge into your holiday menu this year. This decadent recipe is easy to make and provides a beautifully rich treat. Plus, it's only 6 ingredients!
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fig smoothie recipe
Vanilla Fig Smoothie
4.8 from 4 votes
Spice up the holidays with this festively delicious fig smoothie. Figs are full of natural sweetness, fiber, and the ability to lower blood sugar. This is one holiday treat that is a plus for your taste buds and your health.
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Pumpkin Chia Pudding
5 from 4 votes
Celebrate fall with this quick n' easy protein-packed snack. Pumpkin Chia Pudding tastes great and is the perfect amount of sweet. Treat it like a dessert, a snack, or a light breakfast.
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Vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
4.8 from 5 votes
These are simply THE BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies around! We’ve given them another upgrade by adding in toasted coconut (you can buy it or make it) and toasted almonds for extra flavor and crunch. Use your favorite dark chocolate chips and bake up a batch or two. They make great gifts and store well in the freezer for when a craving hits. 
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Maple pumpkin smoothie recipe
Maple Pumpkin Smoothie
5 from 26 votes
Fall is here and the pumpkin benefits abound! Pumpkin is everywhere so, naturally, we decided to give you a delicious seasonal pumpkin smoothie.
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Gluten-Free Vegan Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Chips | SimpleGreenSmoothies.com #vegan #glutenfree #cookies
Soft Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Chips
5 from 6 votes
These soft ginger cookies are also naturally gluten free. The flavor of warm ginger shines through thanks to both dried ground ginger and freshly grated ginger. The second best part might just be the pockets of dark chocolate in each bite. These are sure to become a favorite!
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Healthy Winter Recipes FAQs

How do I incorporate fresh vegetables into meals during winter?

Focus on produce that is harvested during colder months. This includes lots of citrus fruits and root vegetables that will keep you healthy and full all season long.

Which produce is fresh in the winter?

Winter in the US often feels like a time when not much is fresh, yet that’s not true! From Apples and avocados to a variety of squash and even citrus fruit, you can find fresh and flavorful produce that is available and reasonably priced throughout the colder months.

How do I make healthy meals during winter?

I hear you! It’s hard to make nourishing meals during the busiest months of the year. I’ve got you covered with plant-powered breakfasts, sides and dinners that will fuel the whole family and keep you as healthy as can be while on the go.

Seasonal Produce

fresh winter vegetables ready for winter sides or healthy winter lunches.

Eating seasonally not only tastes better, but it’s also better for your wallet too. Produce eaten when it should be harvested naturally has better flavor, more nutrients and is prettier. Plus, seasonal produce is way cheaper than those strawberries you’re eyeballing in February.

Check out what’s fresh in your area during winter and focus on recipes that use those fruits and veggies.

Here’s what is typically fresh in the United States during winter months (and what I use in many of these healthy winter recipes!).

ApplesAvocadosBananasBeets
Brussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCelery
Collard GreensGrapefruitHerbsKale
KiwiLeeksLemonsLimes
OnionsOrangesParsnipsPears
PineapplesPotatoesPumpkinRutabagas
Sweet Potatoes/YamsSwiss ChardTurnipsWinter Squash

Winter produces focuses on fruits high in Vitamin C and hearty, filling root vegetables to get us all through the colder months.

Eat Fresh this Year

If I’m gonna eat healthily I need a plan. Relying on my 4:30 pm brain is not going to produce a well-rounded dinner for my family.

So instead I turn to my Rawk the Year meal planner that’s loaded with healthy winter recipes my kids will actually eat. I can choose recipes based on what I have on hand, or create a shopping list to meal prep on the weekend and set myself up for success.

What are your go-to recipes this season? Leave a comment and let me know!

About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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Comments

  1. I definitely get in a cooking slump in the winter. Thanks for the creative new ideas for meals!